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The Band of Heathens: Live at Antone's

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Album Review

When a band calls itself the Band of Heathens, one might assume that its focus is death metal or black metal. But these Austin, TX residents don't sound anything like that; their focus is bluesy, country-tinged Americana, roots rock, Southern rock, and rock & roll. That focus certainly lends itself to being based in Austin — a city that has a lot of credibility when it comes to Americana and roots rock — and it serves them well on this self-titled CD. Although this is the Band of Heathens' first studio album, it isn't their first album period; their first two releases, the 2006 CD Live from Momo's

and the 2007 CD/DVD Live at Antone's, were both live recordings. How many bands wait until their third release to provide a studio album? Not many. Given the fact that so many artists never record a live album at all, it is refreshing, albeit unorthodox, that the Band of Heathens did things the way they did. And thankfully, the studio environment doesn't deprive them of their bluesy grit. Drawing on influences that include the Black Crowes, the Rolling Stones, the Band, the Allman Brothers, and John Cougar Mellencamp, the Band of Heathens keep things nice and gritty on well-crafted tracks like "Cornbread," "Jackson Station," "Unsleeping Eye," and "Heart on My Sleeve." This memorable, if derivative, CD not only benefits from the fact that the Band of Heathens has an attractive sound — it also benefits from the fact that the writing is consistently solid. The Band of Heathens make the transition from live recordings to the studio pleasingly well on this 2008 release.

Biography

Formed: Austin, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Formed in Austin, Texas, the Band of Heathens became a band totally by accident. Songwriters Colin Brooks, Gordy Quist, and Ed Jurdi were all doing regular sets at Momo's in Austin when they began sitting in with each other, eventually making the whole thing one big show that they called the Good Time Supper Club, which was essentially three singer/songwriters in the round backed by a solid rhythm section of John Chipman on drums and Seth Whitney on bass. What started out as a spontaneous side project...
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The Band of Heathens: Live at Antone's, The Band of Heathens
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